Man Utd charged after unsavoury behaviour towards ref Craig Pawson

Date published: Tuesday 21st January 2020 9:43 - James Marshment

Manchester United have been charged by the FA for failing to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion during Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

United’s players surrounded referee Craig Pawson midway through the opening period after Virgil Van Dijk challenged David De Gea.

Roberto Firmino subsequently scored, but his goal was chalked off following a VAR review of Van Dijk’s clash with the United goalkeeper.

The challenge sparked a major debate in the Sky Sports studios at half-time with Roy Keane claiming “the game had gone made” after the challenge was deemed unfair.

“It was a huge turning point,” Keane said.

“Why he’s disallowed this goal is beyond me. I can’t get my head around it. He’s got his eye on the ball De Gea’s done this before, I think there’s a softness to him. The game’s gone mad.”

Fellow pundit Graeme Souness also had his say after former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra believed the foul was the right decision.

Evra told Keane and Souness: “It’s a foul. He’s touching De Gea with his head.”

Souness challenged the Frenchman and said: “He’s never looked at the goalkeeper, he’s got his eyes on the ball.


“Under no circumstances is that a foul. If you’re talking about VAR as some sort of magnificent computer that’s perfect in every way, it’s human error and they don’t know what they’re doing, that’s the bottom line.

“It’s laughable. How much more honest could he be in his challenge.”

United have until Thursday to respond to the charge.

A statement from the FA read: “Manchester United FC has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20(a).

“It is alleged that the club failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 26th minute of the Premier League fixture against Liverpool FC on Sunday (19/01/20).”

De Gea dropped the ball following Van Dijk’s challenge. United failed to clear their lines with Firmino appearing to double Liverpool’s advantage at Anfield.

A furious De Gea led United protests, rushing over to Pawson to vent his frustration. The Spaniard, who was booked for his actions, was joined by a number of his team-mates in surrounding Pawson.

A VAR review of the incident deemed De Gea had been fouled and Firmino’s goal was disallowed. But Liverpool still went on to win the game 2-0 to extend their title lead over Manchester City to 16 points.


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